It has come down to one last semester for me in “the forest” as we like to call our Drew campus. I look forward to this semester of singing in the choir, being among friends, and soaking up all that Drew has to offer but I also dread the end of this season of my life.
When I arrived at Drew Theological School in the Fall of 2012 I fell in love with the diversity of the Student Body, the challenge of learning with students from around the world, and the campus that was a “cocoon” as I called it. Since that time my life has changed in ways I could have never imagined. I fell in love with someone who loved me without reservation. The love we shared was so plainly clear to all who knew us that people fell in love with our love story, but we were more than a story, we were students of life and I was a student at Drew.
Don immersed himself in all of the activities on campus while I took classes. Now it is time for the final semester to begin. I will not be seeking ordination as I once thought I would. Instead I will pursue a different path. If the time comes when all people can be ordained in the United Methodist Church then I may go back and do the additional coursework required for ordination.
I will not walk across the stage and receive my diploma. I will have it mailed to me. I will be busy volunteering for the Love Your Neighbor Coalition at GC2016. I pray that my witness and presence there will make a difference in the policies of the United Methodist Church. I hope you will join me in that prayer and join me in supporting the LYN Coalition with your signature on the Altar for All Agreement and with your financial contribution to the campaign if you are able.
I am not making this decision to make any grand statement, I am making it for personal reasons. I had decided to not pursue ordination as an Elder because I no longer felt called to that particular ministry. I planned to seek ordination as a Deacon because that is the office I feel most called to and if I do ever seek ordination it will be Deacons orders that I seek, but at this time with the United Methodist Church’s position on ordination of all persons regardless of sexual orientation I have come to the conclusion that serving the church as a LayPerson is what is right for me. I am not leaving the Church. I am staying and working for change. I hope to be commissioned as a Deaconess in the United Methodist Church and I am prepared to continue in that calling to lay-ministry for my lifetime.
My calling has always been to serve older adults and baby boomers and to serve alongside them in ministry as well. To that end I will seek a Certificate in Gerontology or a Certificate in Older Adult Ministries. Much is still to be decided but many decisions have been made. For now I will soak up the Springtime in the Forest and savor the memories of the sweet love that Don and I found while walking the beautiful tree lined path from our home in our tiny dorm to the wonderful environment that is found in Seminary Hall.by